Cert Peer Sprt Spec III- Maximum Security Unit

Health and Human Services Commission

Posting Type:
Open to All Applicants
Healthcare Support
FLSA Exempt/
Health & Human Services Comm
Non-Vocational Day Prog Svs
Job Title:
Cert Peer Sprt Spec III- Maximum Security Unit
Posting Number:
Full Time/Part Time :
Full Time
Job Location:
Other Locations:
AccessHR Service Center
Salary Range:
$2,552.00 – $3,649.83
Salary Group:
Days (First)
Closing Date:
Job Description:
Location: Forensic Maximum-Security Psychiatric Facility

Are you ready to be professionally challenged? Are you looking to be part of a dynamic team of engaged and committed professionals? Then the Health and Specialty Care System (HSCS) may be just the place for you! The State Hospital System, under the HSCS is comprised of nine psychiatric hospitals located throughout the state and one youth residential psychiatric center in Waco. The HSCS is a hub of excellence for forensic mental health and complex psychiatric care, with all facilities accredited by The Joint Commission. The hospitals provide state-of-the-art treatment that is recovery-oriented and evidence-based. Whether in a direct-care or support role, your contribution will make a difference in the life of a Texan. Apply now to join our team.

The Certified Peer Support Specialist III provides peer support services to patients with serious mental illnesses, forensic commitment, and/or addiction issues, and serves in the orientation and training of other peer specialists. Under the supervision of the Director of Peer Support the Certified Peer Support Specialist will function as a role model to peer specialists and persons served; exhibiting competency in personal recovery. The Certified Peer Support Specialist performs a wide range of tasks providing guidance to other Peer Support Specialist and persons served. The Certified Peer Support Specialist assists peers of all ages, from young adults to seniors, in regaining independence within the community and mastery over their own recovery process. Work involves engagement in interactions with persons served, assisting management of the peer services department; assessing competency of peer specialists; and leading individual and group sessions. The Certified Peer Support Specialist supports persons served self-determination with immediate and long-term concerns; supports persons served in participation with recovery team planning; serves as a consumer advocate; leads educational panels for organizational staff, committees, and communities; and assists with providing training in trauma informed care, recovery model, or person-centered care to others. May serve as a lead worker providing direction to others. Works under limited supervision, with considerable latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.

Performs other duties as assigned. Other duties as assigned include but are not limited to actively participating and/or serving in a supporting role to meet the agency’s obligations for disaster response and/or recovery or Continuity of Operations (COOP) activation. Such participation may require an alternate shift pattern assignment and/or location.
Essential Job Functions:
Attends work on a regular basis and may be required to work a specific shift schedule or, at times, even a rotating schedule, extended shift and/or overtime in accordance with agency leave policy and performs other duties as assigned.

Supports persons served in developing communication, social skills, problem solving, and self-help skills. Models recovery achievements and supports persons served with their recovery efforts. Builds and maintains individual relationships and shares recovery stories with persons served and external stakeholders. Teaches problem solving techniques and assist patients in combating stigma and how to handle problems that may arise in interactions with others. Shares their own
experiences and what skills, strengths, supports and resources they use. As much as possible, shares their own recovery story as the facilitator of these sessions, and demonstrates how they have directed their own recovery. Teaches patients how to identify and combat negative self-talk and how to identify and overcome fears by providing a forum which allows group members and the Peer Specialist to share their experiences.

Assists patients in articulating personal goals for recovery using one-to-one and group sessions. Supports patients during these sessions in identifying and creating goals and developing recovery plans with the skills, strengths, supports and resources to aid them in achieving those goals. Assists patients in working with their case manager or treatment team to determine the steps they need to take to achieve these goals and self-directed recovery. Supports persons served with preparation for team meetings, and assures person served can participate to the best of their desire and ability in the recovery planning meeting.

Provides orientation, training, and competency assessment to new and current Peer Specialists. Periodically observes both individual and group facilitation to assure quality of service delivery. Provides ongoing updated training regarding current practices in peer support and recovery to Peer Specialists.

Completes all required documentation, focusing on services provided and patient ability to comprehend and participate in treatment process. Periodically reviews Peer Specialist documentation and recovery plans to assure quality of service delivery.

Leads educational panels for organizational staff, committees, and communities. Shares recovery materials with others at continuing education seminars and attends continuing education seminars and other in-service training when offered.

Fosters integration of persons served into communities including transporting patients safely to appropriate destinations and operating vans in a safe manner. Assists patients in setting up and sustaining community mutual support groups, as well as, means of locating and joining existing groups. Supports patients’ vocational choices and assists them in choosing a job that matches their strengths, overcoming job-related anxiety by reviewing job applications, and providing interview tips. Provides opportunities to visit potential discharge settings, involves patients in discharge preparation, and reviews need for support systems in the community. On occasion, provides oversite of peer support specialists during outings.

Performs related work as assigned. The Peer Specialist is expected to handle routine duties independently and is expected to establish common priorities for their assignments. Work that is new or requires deviations from previous assignments is discussed with the supervisor who will provide instructions on how work is to be accomplished.  
Knowledge Skills Abilities:
Knowledge of the recovery process, person centered care, trauma informed care
Knowledge and skill to teach and engage in basic problem-solving strategies to support individual patients in self-directed recovery
Knowledge of the signs and symptoms of mental illness (i.e. auditory and visual hallucinations, aggressive talk and behavior, thoughts of self-harm or harm towards others, isolation, etc.)
Knowledge and skill sufficient to use community resources necessary for independent living and ability to teach those skills to other individuals with severe mental illness. Community resources may include but are not limited to: public transportation, social security office, local YMCA, Library, restaurants, clients’ service organizations, housing providers, etc.
Knowledge of how to establish and sustain self-help (mutual support) and educational groups by soliciting input from the mental health consumers on their strengths and interests
Knowledge of peer programs for persons with behavioral and intellectual challenges, of peer philosophy and role, of recovery models, of trauma-informed care, and general knowledge of medications administered to persons
Working knowledge of current trends and developments in the mental health field by reading books, journals, and other relevant materials
Knowledge of HHSC Human Resources regulations

Skills in the use of a computer and applicable software (i.e. CAPPS, AVATAR, etc.)

Ability to provide training and mentoring to other Peer Specialists
Ability to facilitate recovery using established standardized mental health processes
Ability to assist patients to address symptoms using strategies such as positive self-talk
Ability to communicate effectively and to provide support and encouragement to persons served toward achievement of individual treatment and discharge goals
Ability to share personal challenges, to listen, assess, document, and monitor interactions between employees and persons served
Ability to operate a state vehicle (van, wheelchair van, or sedan)
Ability to lead teams, communicate effectively, and to train others
Ability to assure adherence to trauma informed care, recovery model, and person-centered care philosophy
Ability to follow policies and procedures
Ability to work with persons in challenging situations
Ability to audit and assess competency for peer specialist services
Registration or Licensure Requirements:
Must be a Certified Peer Support Specialist by a State of Texas credentialing authority  
Initial Selection Criteria:
Graduation from a standard senior high school or equivalent

At least one (1) year of documented experience working with persons with mental illness

Experience in identify self as having a lived experience with mental health/substance abuse challenges and willingness to share own personal recovery story

Experience navigating mental health, substance use and interfacing with the criminal justice system preferred
Additional Information:
Salary Note: The salary offered will follow HHS HR Policy starting salary guidelines which are typically made at or near the minimum of the salary range. For internal applicants, there can be limitations in consideration of applicant’s current classification and salary and is dependent upon available budget.

Applicants must pass a fingerprint criminal background check, pre-employment drug screen, and registry checks including the Client Abuse/Neglect Reporting System (CANRS), Nurse Aid, Medication Aide and Employee Misconduct, and HHS OIG list of Excluded Individuals/Entities. Males between the ages of 18-25 must be registered with the Selective Service.

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age to be considered for employment at a state-operated facility.

Flexibility in work hours may be required for this position. The position may be required to work overtime and/or extended hours.

Compliance with HHSC immunization policy and state hospital operating procedures related to immunizations is required. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthcare workers are at significant risk for acquiring or transmitting hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chicken pox), tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and influenza. All these diseases are vaccine-preventable. As a result, state hospital policy requires employees be vaccinated according to their level of contact with individuals. In the event you choose to not be immunized for the influenza virus, you may be required to wear a mask and take other protective measures.

If you need assistance completing the online application, contact the HHS Employee Service Center at 1-888-894-4747.

To apply for this job please visit jobshrportal.hhsc.state.tx.us.

To apply for this job please visit jobshrportal.hhsc.state.tx.us.

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